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Bicester parent to open outlet in China

A major surge in the number of Chinese tourists visiting discount shopping outlet Bicester Village has prompted its owner to open a similar centre in China.

Bicester Village parent company Value Retail, which operates nine outlets across Western Europe, is set to open its first shopping village in Suzhou, China, in 2013 following a 20% increase in Chinese tourists to the Oxfordshire outlet centre over the past four years.

Value Retail chairman Scott Malkin told Drapers that international visitors to Bicester village now represent 75% to 80% of total visitors to the outlet, which features discount stores from luxury brands including Mulberry, Amanda Wakeley, Gucci and Ralph Lauren.

“Of that figure, around 50% of those tourists come from outside of the EU with Chinese visitors accounting for the largest proportion,” added Malkin.

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